Words & Photos by Tyler Soden

It’s A Vibe in Ibiza

For those of you who may not know, Ibiza (pronounced “I-BEE-tha”) is one of the Balearic Islands off the east coast of Spain in the Mediterranean Sea. It’s a place I never would have thought photography and wakeboarding would take me but, sure enough, I ended up there with a solid crew for an entire week. One thing that I can say about Ibiza is that it’s a vibe, which just so happened to be the theme song for the short time Shawn Watson, Luca Kidd and myself spent in this tropical paradise. I could count on Watson to set the mood each day with 2 Chainz song “It’s a Vibe” playing through his phone or through the boat speakers while we set out for the day’s adventures. We hit up some pretty amazing places, one of my favorites being the small island of Formentera, which was a “short” 50-mile boat ride from Ibiza. On our way to the small island, we spotted the biggest ship I’ve ever seen. And when I say we spotted it on our way, we literally saw it walking out of our hotel room, floating in the sea miles from the shore. I mean this thing looks like something straight out of an Avengers movie, built by Iron Man himself. Unfortunately, Iron Man isn’t a real person but we did find out this ship was “Sailing Yacht A,” the largest sailing yacht in the world, owned by Andrey Melnichenko, a billionaire from Russia. Sailing Yacht A cost Melnichenko $300 million to build (to put it in perspective, that’s about two thousand G23’s) and it can accommodate 14 guests and a crew of 37. We whipped our now minuscule-looking G up to Sailing Yacht A for a few photos, a drive by with the drone, and a quick surf session, then continued on with our journey to Formentera. Formentera has some of the whitest sand beaches and bluest waters I have ever seen, so being able to ride here was definitely surreal. (Check out the video on Alliancewake.com to see a few clips from here, the water is absolutely mesmerizing)

Luca in his backyard

Top of the World

        While we were in Ibiza, we also hit up this crazy rock formation called Ses Margalides which is a huge cliff protruding out of the sea, with a hole in the middle barely big enough for a G to drive through. We headed out to there on a few different occasions to try and capture some riding shots in front of the rock formations, praying to the wake gods for some calm water. Unfortunately there was a pretty big swell coming in during our stay in Ibiza that made it nearly impossible to wakeboard, but we were determined to make the most of it. One morning Watson, Matt Crowhurst and myself hopped on the G, while Anthony McGrath drove a little dingy (which clearly wasn’t big enough for the swell) over to Ses Margalides to see what we could come up with. When we got to the spot, I jumped on the dingy with Anthony and headed for a low spot on the rock wall. We idled up to the jagged edges of the cliff, bouncing from the swell and I jumped off the dingy with my cameras in hand. Watson strapped into his boots and did a few laps back and forth seeing if it was possible to do anything in this swell. The sea would mostly win this battle, but we were able to capture a solid slaysh under the rocks that we were stoked on. Although the water wasn’t what we were hoping for during our stay in Ibiza, it was still an amazing experience being able to ride and shoot in such a beautiful and remote location.

Sunset sessions in Ibiza are much more about the sunset

Watson hacking through Ses Margalides

        One thing I actually didn’t know prior to our visit was that Ibiza is a huge party destination, and we happened to be there on “closing weekend,” which is basically the islands’ last week of summer. This led to a few late nights and early mornings, but losing a little sleep in a place like Ibiza was nothing to fret about. It was cool seeing how massive the clubs were in comparison to some of the clubs back in the States. If you ever find yourself on the island, I recommend going to Amnesia, Eden or Hi, a few of the clubs we were able to check out during our stay. Just be prepared to pay $42 per drink (ridiculous, I know). If the club scene isn’t for you, stop by Mambos Café for some paella and the most spectacular sunset views on the island. During the off-season the island is mostly uninhabited and a lot of businesses close their doors except for a few locals that stay back for a relaxed lifestyle full of daily siestas. Being from the States, a siesta is pretty unheard of but it’s basically an island wide midday nap during the heat of the day. Some businesses even close their doors from 2-4pm so that they can go home for their afternoon nap.

What’s Mallorcan for method?

Scooter views

        After four epic days of long nights, early mornings and activities on the boat, it was time for us to make the trip to Mallorca, a short 40-minute flight across the Mediterranean Sea from Ibiza.

Mobbin’ in Mallorca

        When I first arrived in Mallorca, I thought to myself, “There’s no way this place would top the past few days spent in Ibiza,” but boy was I wrong. Mallorca is absolutely, without a doubt, the most beautiful place I have ever been to. There’s just something about the vastness of it all, with the ocean spreading out behind a mountainous island in what seems like forever in all directions. We landed early in the afternoon and had just enough time to go straight from the plane to the boat for a quick sunset shoot. Watson and I met up at Luca’s crib, where Luca gave us the tour, treated us to some water and a Biscoff cookie before we jumped on some scooters to head to the marina. We met up with Luca’s friend, James Dodge, who has a bright orange G named “Fanta” (rightly so), and headed out to the bay where we finally found some calm water. We were stoked to finally have some good water so we ended up shooting sunrise and sunset for the next three days. We even got in one sunrise shoot on our last day before our 12 p.m. flight back home. I was blown away by the backdrop in Mallorca. Being able to capture some photos of Luca and Watson boosting off of the wake in Palma made for some of my favorite photos I’ve ever captured. After our morning shoots, we would grab a quick bite then head out on Luca’s boat with him and his family for a tour of all the local spots around the island. They brought us out to a huge cliff jumping spot that was about 75 feet high, nosed the boat up to the rock wall and we climbed up the face until we got to where Luca told us it was “safe” to jump. We jumped off a few times which was absolutely exhilarating, grabbed some photos and shots with the drone then headed back inland for a trip up to Cap De Formentor. If you have watched the video from our trip by now, you can see how breathtaking the views from the Cap really are. You can see the entire island from up there.

Striking gold in Mallorca

Luca said it was safe to jump so that’s what we did

        If you need a vacation destination and want to ride while you are there, Mallorca is your spot. If you want to go for a rip on the boat, hit up Luca Kidd or James Dodge, I’m sure they would be stoked to get some more riders out there. There’s also Mallorca Wake Park, a system 2.0 setup inland, if you are looking to hit a few features during your stay.

        Luca, Watson and myself couldn’t be more stoked about how this trip turned out; it was the trip of a lifetime and we can’t thank Nautique Boats, Scotland Nautique and Raymond Colquhoun enough for the good times.

Class Watson with an insane backdrop

Roast beef rolls out on the bay

 Sail or motor? Either is good in Ibiza